At Compass Catholic, we teach biblical principles of how God intends for us to handle money and possessions. In order to handle money God’s way, you need to know where it is going. And that is called a budget. There is a common misconception that budgets are only for those who are experiencing a financial hardship or crisis, but nothing could be further from the truth. Budgets are necessary whether you are single or married or young or old, if you have lots of money in savings or are just getting by each month. A budget is simply a planning tool that gives you information about where your money is going and more importantly, if you want it to continue going there.
Many people don’t like the use of the word budget, and that is okay. Call it what you would like – spending plan, savings plan, money mojo, etc. Use a term that works for you, but no matter what you call it, just do it!
In James 4:13, we learn that we can’t predict our future and that our plans for the future can change in an instant. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town, spend a year there doing business, and make a profit’ – you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow.”
Using a money plan; knowing where you are spending; discerning the difference between wants and needs is the key to surviving and thriving when those plans of yours aren’t exactly what God had in mind for you. In changing circumstances, the money plan can show you where the pitfalls are located, and allows you to adjust to the unexpected events when there is a speed bump or detour on your path.
Over the many years we have been teaching in this ministry, we have seen so many couples have an unexpected change in their financial circumstances. If those people do not have a budget they usually maintain their current standard of living by using credit cards to supplement their lifestyle. We know of many people who have credit card debt in the six-figure range because they did not have the information they needed to make wise decisions about how to adjust to changing circumstances.
We’ve also run into many couples who are making an income that should be more than adequate. Yet they get caught up in the consumer mentality and over commit their resources to things that aren’t very important for the long term. They find themselves facing retirement or college with no savings because they spent everything they earned.
Another great reason to create a money plan is that it improves the relationship between husband and wife. Financial hardship, or lack of communication about finances, is one of the many reasons why couples fight. If you and your spouse together create a money plan and use it as a communication tool, it will make you stronger as a couple.
In tough times or when saving for a family goal, get your children on board as well. If you are planning a family vacation, tell the kids that you need a money plan to pay for the essentials – like food, shelter and transportation – as well to determine which activities they will do while on vacation. Give your children the task of finding activities that are within a specific budget. Ask them to come up with ideas on how they can save money towards the vacation. Maybe they can cut coupons, or make their lunches instead of buying their lunches or find odd jobs around the neighborhood.
In any circumstance, a money plan will help you determine exactly where your money is going and if it is really going to the places that are important to you and more importantly to God.
To learn more about Compass Catholic Ministries, visit us online at: https://compasscatholic.org